Appropriateness of colonoscopy in Europe (EPAGE II). Iron-deficiency anemia and hematochezia.

TitleAppropriateness of colonoscopy in Europe (EPAGE II). Iron-deficiency anemia and hematochezia.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPeytremann-Bridevaux, I, Arditi, C, Froehlich, F, O'Malley, J, Fairclough, P, Le Moine, O, Dubois, RW, Gonvers, J-J, S Filliettaz, S, Vader, J-P, Juillerat, P, Pittet, V, Burnand, B
Corporate AuthorsEPAGE II Study Group
Date Published2009 Mar
KeywordsAnemia, Iron-Deficiency, Colonoscopy, Europe, Female, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Guidelines as Topic, Humans, Male, Middle Aged

BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS: To summarize the published literature on assessment of appropriateness of colonoscopy for the investigation of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) and hematochezia, and report appropriateness criteria developed by an expert panel, the 2008 European Panel on the Appropriateness of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, EPAGE II.

METHODS: A systematic search of guidelines, systematic reviews and primary studies regarding the evaluation and management of IDA and hematochezia was performed. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method was applied to develop appropriateness criteria for colonoscopy for these conditions.

RESULTS: IDA occurs in 2 %-5 % of adult men and postmenopausal women. Examination of both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract is recommended in patients with iron deficiency. Colonoscopy for IDA yields one colorectal cancer (CRC) in every 9-13 colonoscopies. Hematochezia is a well-recognized alarm symptom and such patients are likely to be referred for colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is unanimously recommended in patients aged > or = 50. Diverticulosis, vascular ectasias, and ischemic colitis are common causes of acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB); CRC is found in 0.2 %-11 % of the colonoscopies performed for LGIB. Most patients with scant hematochezia have an anorectal or a distal source of bleeding. The expert panel considered most clinical indications for colonoscopy as appropriate in the presence of IDA (58 %) or hematochezia (83 %).

CONCLUSION: Despite the limitations of the published studies, guidelines unanimously recommend colonoscopy for the investigation of IDA and hematochezia in patients aged > or = 50 years. These indications were also considered appropriate by EPAGE II, as were indications in patients at low risk for CRC with no obvious cause of bleeding found during adequate previous investigations.

Alternate URL

Alternate JournalEndoscopy
Citation Key / SERVAL ID2741
PubMed ID19280534


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